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Dunlop on track in the desert

Dunlop on track in the desert

Dunlop on track in the desert

Very strong gusty desert winds made conditions difficult for riders in all three classes in the Qatar GP, the second round of the 17 race 2006 MotoGP World Championship, held on the 5.4 Km circuit situated in the desert 30 Kms from Doha.

Suffering from a trapped shoulder nerve - the result of his practice crash at the Spanish GP – Carlos Checa was unable to realise the full potential of his Tech 3 Yamaha Dunlop. Lacking feel and strength in his left arm made quick changes of direction very difficult for him during the race. In spite of this, the Catalan rider, like the other three Dunlop riders in the MotoGP class, were very positive about the improvement in tyre performance, particularly in their consistency throughout the race.

Carlo Checa (Team Tech 3 Yamaha Dunlop)

"I am really quite happy with the bike-tyre package. As I was not 100% fit today, it's not possible for me to say how much our package has improved in comparison with our competitors, but for sure our Dunlop tyres have been much more consistent than at Jerez. The grip has remained constant and usable throughout the race, with the rear tyre just dropping down a bit at the end of the race, which is quite normal. We just have to continue working in the same way, and I expect to be physically recovered for the next race in Turkey. Overall, everything went very well today, my physical condition being my handicap."

Guy Coulon Engineer for Carlos Checa.

"A positive weekend, with the bike performance very consistent, maybe even improving towards the end of the race as the balance improved as the fuel load lightened. Carlos' physical condition prevented him from getting a higher finish. This was our second race on Dunlop, and if at the first race we have lacked some rear tyre consistency in the race, here the tyres have been consistent from the first lap to the last. Overall, a positive tyre result." Herve Poncharal Team manager of Tech 3 Yamaha Dunlop.

"If he had not been hampered by his shoulder injury, I think that Carlos could have run close to Colin Edwards. For his part, James Ellison has also made a very consistent race, at a pace about 0.5 lap slower than Carlos, to finish 13th – a big step forward for him since Jerez. Our technical team is staying in Qatar for a further day's testing with Dunlop tomorrow, which can only bring further progress."

Alex Hofmann Team Pramac D'Antin MotoGP Ducati.

"I made a very good start, coming from 18th to 11th, but after being hit by Randy de Puniet, I lost a lot of time. It took me several laps to regain my rhythm, without this I think I could have run with Carlos Checa, as the tyres were consistent, much better than in Jerez, and I could maintain a good race pace."

In 125, Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia) took his second consecutive victory, the first time since 2002 that a rider has won back to back GPs in the closely fought 125cc category. Finishing 7 seconds ahead of Mika Kallio (KTM) and Sergio Gadea (Aprilia), these two being separated by just one hundredth of a second at the flag.

The 250 race developed into a two man battle between Spanish GP victor, Jorge Lorenzo (Aprilia) and Andrea Dovizioso (Honda), Lorenzo taking the flag by 0.7 second, with Roberto Locatelli finishing a strong 3rd on his Aprilia, after a small mistake on the second lap lost him 15 seconds and 19 places .


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